Birthday Blog

newproject_1_original-7Today is my birthday. (Edit…it was two days ago)

Born 9th April 1988, on the 100th day of the year, on the 142nd Grand National Day, just after 1pm. My dad lost his bet…a great start.

Throughout my twenty-nine years on this earth I have pretty much had as much freedom as I have wanted. What a beautiful thing. Reflecting on that, I admit I did not use that freedom wisely most of the time, which is selfish when considering how much some people would simply like freedom. On turning twenty-nine I still unashamedly enjoy some of the same things as I did when I was 9 or 19. I feel I have also learned a million life lessons…but I didn’t feel like that when turning 28…

…interesting.

It is a common notion that knocking on thirty’s door is a time of growing up ‘properly’ once and for all. No more excuses for bad behaviour or for not looking after yourself. Spontaneous drinking sessions with friends fade and those annoying things start to batter at your walls…
…expectations.

As the big 3 0 looms closer, there are suddenly one hundred and one expectations placed20170411_102615 on us. ‘When are you having kids?’ and ‘When are you getting married?’ …are the most frequently asked questions if you haven’t already done those things. Of course, millions treasure the idea of domestic bliss…but not all. There are still those who are happy to embrace the opportunities that arise from simply being one with oneself. The absence of responsibility and obligation is its own fairy-tale and it’s not one that we can all give up easily. It is a little bewildering as to why some view this as unusual or horrifying; ‘time is running out if you want to settle down!’. These kinds of responses can push us in to thinking we must act to keep up with the ‘norms’ of society, instead of growing old alone in a cardboard box somewhere as our heart really desires.

Even when you do embrace a life other than the domestic one, it won’t be good enough for everyone. If you haven’t completed their imaginary list of things to do before you’re thirty then you’re a big fat failure. When our minds cloud with other people’s expectations and ideals we ultimately lose ourselves. And that is the key to happiness at any age. The relationship with Self. Living in the moment by doing what you enjoy as an individual will attract what you truly want in life. Any energy dispelled on people who can only give you negative opinions, rather than adding value to your life, will only hold you back in the long run. They will make you second guess yourself, go against your gut and before you know it you’re knocking on the door of the next decade wondering where it all went wrong.

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People with expectations about how others should live have little going on in their own life (or they’re insecure so they pull others down with them). Let them do that while you do you with a happy mind, whatever your age. The moment you allow yourself to chase life validation you begin to fight a losing battle. Only misery and disappointment will ensue, simply because you’re not living your own truth.

So, in this last year of my twenties, I solemnly swear…to be myself. Young at heart with my mind closed to the expectations of others.

Pet Giveaway

 

This week alone I have seen

Five unwanted cats

I must wonder if

These people know the facts

 

Firstly, it did not choose you

You wanted it badly

For you or your kid

You took that cat home gladly

 

It settles in and feels happy

The cat has found its feet

Every morning when it wakes

It is you it wants to greet

 

After some months or years

It cannot believe its luck

That it has found a home

Which is better than a pig in muck

 

Tail high it wanders round

Basking in your love

Rubbing on furniture

And giving you lots of hugs

 

Then you decide one day

You can’t have it anymore

Moving house or a new baby

Makes the cat become a chore

 

Suddenly you want rid

For your own selfish ends

Why take it in the first place

And make this pet your friend?

 

Pets are your family

Not a toy to be thrown away

Just because it can’t speak

Doesn’t mean it’s not in pain

 

That animal is a spirit

That wanders just like you

And now you have broke it

It doesn’t know what to do

 

A new home means

New people and new smells

The feeling is overwhelming

Your ex pet becomes a shell

 

It is looking for you

Upstairs and down

But all it sees is a stranger

With a concerned frown

 

That’s just the lucky ones

Who get a new home

The others go to cattery’s

Where they feel more alone

 

The next time you decide

To get yourself pet

Remember it is for life

It can’t be dumped at the vet

 

There is only one time

Saying goodbye is okay

When you can’t afford to feed it

And it will end up a stray

 

That pet treasured you

You fit it like a glove

I hope you aren’t thrown away

By someone you love…

Are you suffering from Chronic Stress?

wp-1491043434690.jpgDo you ever feel, that if you must say, hear or feel one more thing then your brain and body will just explode out of frustration?

If yes then you have the stress.

The problem with chronic stress is that it can take some time to identify if you have got used to coping. Unless you have very close caring people around you who see the subtle changes in your mood and looks, others will attribute them to you just ‘having a bad day’, ‘being out of sorts’ or ‘having a late one’. It is quite concerning how much stress is brushed off as something minor. Even if you recognise it in yourself, you may be reluctant to make anyone aware in case they accuse you of being unable to cope or that you’re being melodramatic…it is okay to feel this way! The emotion needs to come out eventually, although it should be in a constructive way.

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A little bit of stress can be beneficial such as helping you run away from danger, completing tasks under pressure or making a difficult decision. It becomes an issue when it is the only emotional response you are experiencing over a prolonged period. When the body detects stress, it releases hormones and adrenaline, a fight of flight response if you will. Being stuck in this state for a long time will send your body haywire and ultimately strip your immune system of its strength.

Whilst I try to err on the side of mentioning myself in these blogs, I have experience of this unforgiving feeling. Forcing myself to cope with stress resulted in following ailments for nigh on six weeks-

*Cystic Acne- A real confidence destroyer. Scientists can only speculate why this happens but they assume the high hormone levels promote oil production. Cystic acne is deep within the skin and can take months to heal.  The face feels tender and pressurised. Picking it will make it stay, trust me.

*0-100 Irritability- Reacting to comments and situations literally faster than lighting. Shutting down negativity with aggression because you just can’t bear to hear anymore from anyone. Every noise sounding like an atomic bomb. People’s voices sounding like nails on chalk boards. ‘Burn them all!’ is my Cersei phrase of choice. FYI- If you don’t watch GOT that sentence will mean nothing to you.

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*Broken sleep- Sleep is my first love and if left alone with it, I can easy do a peaceful ten-twelve-hour session. Stress took this pleasure from me and said I can only have 4 hours a night…in intervals of four. Thanks.

*Unable to fall asleep- Turning off electronics, lighting incense and melts, audio books, massage, working out late, none of it helped. Sleeping for a few hours then tackling a 12-hour day just spells disaster.

*Unexplainable rash/hives- As I have resilient skin in that I can use any washing powders, soaps etc. I was surprised when I developed hives on my arms and behind my ears. If this happened to you it is your immune system telling you ‘we’re done, good luck!’. An anti-histamine will only sort it in the short term.

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Lethargy- Walking into the gym ready to do a heavy weights session, feeling pumped. I try to warm up and feel my body rejecting the exercise. Muscles seize up, mind clouds over and suddenly I can barely lift a dumbbell, never mind the 55kg squats I usually do. Sad and defeated I blubber my eyes out in the sauna, feeling like a big fat failure of a woman. My body and my brain had given up on me.

Migraines- These are prompted by all manner of things from lighting to food to lack of sleep. Nonetheless, it is also a characteristic of stress. Your brain is trying to force itself through the cloud of raging hormones and stress to think clearly. The blood vessels are under pressure and the stress increases. Then boom you’re in a 24 hour migraine that medication can’t penetrate.

Feeling alone- This is the worst part of chronic stress. The reality of this world is that most people are only concerned with themselves. We all have that right and I am true believer that you must look after yourself first and foremost. Nonetheless, showing kindness when someone is projecting a negative feeling can go a long way to helping them.

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Getting rid of chronic stress is doable if you are willing to ask for help. You also need to learn to draw the line in all aspects of your life. People pleasing, taking on too much, feeling singled out, resentful feelings, confrontations, making assumptions and all other destructive behaviour/feelings will ensure you burn yourself out. Don’t be afraid to speak up and tell people you are stressed, or if you think that they are being inappropriate and it is impacting on you. Most importantly, it is about choice. What you choose to listen to and how you choose to respond will shape your response to stress.

On some occasions, you will simply have to re-evaluate your environment and you may conclude that it needs a complete overhaul. This could be moving house, changing job, ending a relationship or cutting off toxic people. Remember that it is your right to live in peace and if you’re stressed you’re not living at all.

Take a step back, breathe and look after yourself…FIRST!

Liars

wp-1486732778738.jpgWe all lie at some point. Whether it be a fib, a white lie or a big dirty stinking lie that can only cause pain and distress. The amount you lie is based on your self-confidence, maturity and your compassion for others. People may lie to make themselves appear more important or intelligent than they are, to cover up their unacceptable actions and sometimes to avoid drama. Lies ultimately reflect on the people who told them. Nonetheless, there is nothing worse than being on the receiving end of one, as it can make you question your worth and your relationships. Anyone who is willing to pull the wool over your eyes does not usually have your best interests at heart and you have every right to consider them and their morals forever beneath you.

Having said that, it is not a good habit to just cut people off without trying to come to a resolution and understanding, although this is dependent on the liars behaviour afterwards. If they can be humble enough to admit they lied and they are clearly trying to make amends with you, then you should consider giving them the benefit of the doubt. We all get ourselves in a tangle at some point and before we know it we are spewing untruths left right and centre to try protect ourselves. Of course this only results in you digging a deeper hole for yourself. As much as the truth hurts or makes you cringe, it is the truth and it will set you free. Don’t know something? Admit it. Don’t like something. Admit it. You’re feeling a negative emotional response to someone? Admit it. Keeping Secrets for someone else? Don’t get involved in the first place. Hiding feelings and shame creates new tangles and you have to spend your energy trying to untie yourself from the deceit.
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Forgiveness is also dependant on who the liar is. The lies of a beautiful stranger aren’t going to linger on your mind for too long. If it is friends or family though, you may find yourself extremely angry. Forgiveness comes from understanding and acceptance, so if you can see the logic in their lie, i.e. they were trying to protect you, then that must be considered. We tend to hurt those we love by trying to do the best for them without them knowing. You can never know 100% how to help someone so tread with caution and act in truth if you don’t want the relationship to turn sour. If the lie cannot be justified then feel free to send this person to the nearest exit. Unnecessary lies from friends and family are time consuming and emotional, so if they had no business being in your business, keep them at arm’s length in future.

wp-1486732781882.pngIf you are the liar, then the first thing you need to accept is that you were caught in a lie and now everything you do and say is in question. The person you lied to may feel they never knew you in the first place. Privileges with friends and family could be lost, such as being someone’s confidant, social opportunities and generally just being a part of their lives. Some people find it difficult to trust anyway, so if you have been cut off by someone like this, then you may have to accept the end of a friendship.

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The bottom line is, this universe doesn’t have room for lies. Whether it takes an hour, a day, a year or a decade, THE TRUTH WILL OUT. Save yourself turmoil by only speaking truths. If you don’t lie you don’t have to try remember what you made up! Nobody can get upset with you for being honest and if they do, it is because they can’t face the consequences themselves. Secure people don’t lie because they wouldn’t threaten their own peace and wellbeing, or lead those they love into a false sense of security.

Sexpectations

wp-1486319079730.jpgThere are individuals who are completely at home with their sexuality and a new experience with a new person is anything but daunting. On the flip side, some of us feel petrified at the thought of taking our clothes off for someone new. Am I fat? Am I scaly? Will they think things are too small or too big? You can get so consumed with the thought of feeling embarrassed that you actually do embarrass yourself. Tripping over trousers, human functions failing and not getting each other’s sexual flow are all real things. Another common occurrence is expectation. You may have been thinking non-stop about your first sexual encounter with this person to the point where you have it planned out in your head. Then when it comes to crunch time it is anything but exciting and pleasurable, more like cringing and forgetful.

One night stands are not really relevant to this discussion, as they usually occur when alcohol has been consumed and inhibitions disappear anyway. If you have been dating someone, however, this first experience may mean a hell of a lot to you. The key is confidence and ensuring you’re comfortable enough to take things to the next level. Having sex with the person your dating to please them is all well and good but you may not be doing your wellbeing a favour. Any person worth their salt will want their partner to be comfortable too and so honesty really is the best policy. If your partner is putting pressure on you in any way at all and you give in, then the experience will not feel special or genuine.

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Unfortunately, our physical side can move way faster than our head. We may think we are ready, do the deed and end up feeling ashamed or regretful in the morning. There is not a timescale for this sort of thing, although the sexual tension will be greatly increased if you do try to hold off for at least a couple of months. Not only does this mean that you have a chance to get to know each other’s personalities properly, it is also a chance to test how long the flame can burn for. If after three months, the person you’re dating is still keen then you know you can comfortably and happily move to the next level with them. If they complain, get bored or fob you off then you know they were only interested in your physical side rather than your spiritual as well. I am sure there are those thinking ‘What?! Three months?!’ and I note this may seem lengthy for people who have a high sex drive. Even so, holding off will most likely make for better sex. Rather than it being an act simply for physically pleasure, you have more chance of achieving the spiritual pleasure at the same time. In these instances, awkwardness and embarrassment do not exist.

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Putting new relationships aside, what about existing long term relationships where the expectations have already been set for some time? The key to ensuring sexual longevity in a long term relationship is communication. Many couples end up in the same routine. Same position, same time, same place and same orgasm (or maybe no orgasm at all…the horror!). If this is you and you and your partner are happy then hallelujah, just make sure neither of you are trying to save the feelings of the other. It is okay to say you are bored, want to try something new or that you’re not as keen as you once were. Saying uncomfortable truths can only lead to further discussion. As long as that discussion is pleasant and takes consideration of people’s feelings then a positive result should follow. The easiest way to resolve this kind of issue in the first instance is a change of scenery. If you are not in a position to do this, then change rooms! The most important point to note here though is that effort is key. Doing things half-heartedly will only create resentment, distance and a potential end to the romance.wp-1486319082713.png

So, if you’re moving to the next level with someone or trying to spice up an existing
relationship, sexpectations are at the root of it…so make sure yours are met.

Keyboard Warriors

wp-1485965304685.pngThe first step to getting along with someone with an opposing opinion (and possibly changing their mind and creating peace), is acceptance and understanding. Even if that means accepting you can’t change their mind or understand their view. This can be difficult if the topic in question is sensitive such as racism, sexism, religion, Brexit or Donald Trump. I myself was called a fascist this week, which made me laugh myself to tears. I’ve also been called diplomatic but it was meant as an insult…yes seriously. Am I supposed to scream and shout and carry a weapon instead? Apologies for treating humans as humans, my bad. Unfortunately, those who label others don’t realise they feed the right-wing mindsets of this world and ultimately assist in promoting fascism, racism, religious intolerance and all manner of other evils. The bottom line is, any group that is organised is hierarchical and to truly understand the mechanics of the world we must step outside it and look at the wider context.

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Perhaps being a historian allows me to do this a little easier, as I am forever required to put myself in different historical shoes; men, women, devout religious followers, politicians, soldiers, indigenous peoples and so on. The notion that you cannot possibly understand something until it has happened to you is a bit too extreme (in my opinion, please don’t cry). Humans have compassion and empathy built into their DNA, although using it is by choice. If you claim someone does not ‘understand’ without knowing anything about them, then it makes you the ignorant bigot. And this is the problem with our society in the twenty first century, we’re all social media keyboarding bigots.

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Keyboard warriors just cannot help themselves. They type without thinking. I have been there myself when feeling passionate and instantly regretted it. This approach  just does not work. If you cannot have a debate without it turning into a heated argument, then you’re probably better just logging off for your own wellbeing. Those who continue relentlessly usually aren’t well read and most likely eat up the headline of every article they did not read. Finding the truth or getting to a place of understanding (understanding something doesn’t mean you agree!) takes research and a degree of cross referencing. Being unable to entertain a thought you don’t agree with means you’re being close minded. This approach will make it difficult for you to place people and events in a wider context. It also results in a lack of personal growth. Sadly, many individuals go with majority opinions without researching topics themselves because they either-

  1. Don’t know their own opinion or how to form it.
  2. Are brainwashed
  3. Are attention seeking
  4. Bored of their existence

Those who are adamantly opposed to any opinion but their own will always focus on the negatives. They will find numerous problems with your solutions and anything you verbalise will fall on deaf ears, even if it makes sense. It is admirable and strong to stand alone in your opinion, although speaking to be right only wastes time and energy and does not bring any form of peace or understanding. You’ll know if someone knows their stuff because they will debate, not argue with you. Anyone who evokes their anger does so due to feeling uninformed and backed into a corner, as they do not really know enough to keep the debate going peacefully.  Anyone with a well-informed opinion will stay humble and hit you with facts. Don’t be too proud to admit it if you have come around to their way of thinking either. This is how society should operate!

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In closing, there is no shame in changing your opinion or sticking with it, providing you are willing to consider and examine the views of others. Those who respond with anger by labelling you or getting upset are the ones that create mass panic in this world. Only brainless people will be keen to jump on that band wagon. Unfortunately, social media is full of people like this so 99% of the time you will face persecution if your opinion differs from the majority. Don’t let this get you down though, things could be worse…you could be living like them… with your eyes wide shut.

So, remember, knowing is being well read, taking time to read between the lines and coming to your own conclusions, not taking a headline and running with it. Do this and at least your opinion will have understanding from all perspectives, rather than the agenda of someone else.

WHY MEN CHEAT

 

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monogamy

noun

  • the practice or state of having a sexual relationship with only one partner.

 

Some believe that monogamy is not human nature and like wild animals we are supposed to mate using our instincts. If this was the case (which for some it is), no doubt we would quickly overpopulate the earth. Others argue that monogamy is a worldwide conspiracy set up by governments to control the world population! An interesting topic to explore…but we’ll shelve that one for now.

There are of course those traditionalists (or some us call them ‘normal people’) who believe in monogamy and they can’t wait to dance in the joys of marriage, babies, glitter and cheesy selfies. But how do these hopeless romantics, who appear to have the world at their feet, end up in a place where the man decides to cheat?

Well, there are countless reasons that could be put forward, however, in general, there is a pattern amongst men… and women.

Men are animals in their nature. They have basic needs ‘eat, sleep, sex, repeat’, with maybe a workout and a console sesh in-between. Many can have sex as a leisure activity and not be emotionally effected by it the next day. Women often ask their adulterating partners ‘how can you cheat on me if you love me?’.  Well, having sex with someone else does not necessarily mean they do not love their woman any more, it may just be that they are unhappy with them or themselves. It could be they’re not getting what they need physically because the woman is upset and is withholding sex.

Unfortunately, some males also like shiny new things they have never played with beforewp-1484593586884.png and they cannot exercise self-control. Males who act this way on a regular basis are in fact boys, because their head has not figured out what they want and so they lead with their helmet and hope for the best. On the other hand, they may have an enormous ego and are happy to boast that they can have their cake and eat it. These beings are soul destroyers so do not let them charm you into their bed.

Another reason men cheat is due to self-esteem. Jealousy can be a driving factor and they feel they need to get one over on you by exerting their manliness and to prove that they can still successfully ‘hunt’. A boy on his way to being a man will usually realise the gravity of his mistake once he sees what he may lose because of his actions. They say ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’, however, this is not always the case and forgiveness and remorse can make for a strong foundation going forward…see blog 49!

Long term relationships are at risk of going stale and couples may spend more time as individuals doing their own thing. The more this happens, the less sex happens and the more likely the man will meet someone who creates a new spark. If that spark starts flaming on a regular basis, then he is on a slippery slope to being a cheater. This is where phrases like ‘it just happened’ come from, even though they have been emotionally cheating for months. After a while, relationships can feel like an obligation, so the excitement disappears and instead of listening to why the Mrs is annoyed with him, he’ll seek solace with the woman who makes him feel good. Ultimately though, both sides have a duty to keep the flame burning in the relationship and to be completely honest if they think it is going down the pan. People only stay together for years because they want to!

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Lastly, some men are just evil manipulators. They see a vulnerability they can exploit and in turn you unknowingly meet their needs, either sexually, emotionally, financially or just by making their life easier in general. Whilst you’re playing Mother Hubbard, he is unapologetically sleeping with several different women. Sadly, these can be the most addictive men because women just want to be their number one. Women can easily get wrapped up in these games by making the mans conquests a target of their destruction instead of him…and all it does is increase his already embarrassingly big ego.

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The bottom line is…if both people in the relationship are happy then none of them will cheat…unless they’re mentally unstable. If you have ever been cheated on, please don’t give up on love as it will only make you bitter. Forgive, forget and move on. It is important that you do not tarnish any new man in your life with your ex’s brush, or you’ll push them away with your insecurity. If your partner cheated and you want to forgive them then remember…many couples who experience cheating eventually move past it and have a better relationship in the long run. As long as your happy everyone else will move on too 🙂

And don’t worry guys, I am not man bashing…it the women’s turn next!